It was announced today Javier and the Astros agreed to a 5-yr $64M extension. This buys out Javier's three years of arbitration and buys two years of free agency.
Dana Brown IS indeed implementing the Braves model where CORE/ KEY players are extended long term while they are still early in arbitration or even in pre-arbitration.
Many Astros fans are shocked/ dismissive/ dubious when they find out EVERY projection system projects Javier to pitch to 3.63-4.00 ERA and an even more mediocre 3.72-4.07 FIP. This usually start with some sort of shade comment on my C grade for Javier in the Astros matchup guides. I have explained the C grade is reflecting the projection systems. If the "C" is WRONG it is because the PROJECTIONS are WRONG.
My personal belief is Javier is likely to pitch to a 3.50-3.80 ERA for the next several years. His career FIP is NOW 3.90 not the 3.16 FIP he pitched in 2022 and NOT the 2.54 ERA he had in 2022. I AM saying Javier is good but MAYBE not Hall of Fame GREAT. I THINK it is too early to be engraving his name on Cy Young trophy in 2023 or 2024. Let's revisit the projections in June or July.
So, do I like the deal? I LOVE this deal! It is PERFECT.
If the Astros fan base is right and Javier is a Cy Young level pitcher at ANYTIME in the next five years, his $12.8M AAV will be a huge bargain.
If he does not even hit the projection levels of production, the long-term risk for the Astros is limited to ONLY five years.
Ditto if Javier suffers a JV like injury.
What if the projection systems are right? Is this STILL a good deal?
Let's compare to deals FA SP have gotten this offseason.
There are no 26-year-old FA SP- in short, this SHOULD give Javier a premium.
There are only FOUR age 30-31 SPs who project to have WARs >1.6 according to the Fangraphs.com Free Agent Tracker
The four SP signed for an average of $7.0M per WAR.
Javier projects to deliver 2.2 WAR. His deal would be set at $5.8M/WAR.
Given his age, his potential, the length of the deal, the Javier deal is an excellent deal EVEN if his performance does not meet Astros fans' expectations. GREAT job by Dana Brown!
This also gives Javier life changing wealth guaranteed.
I truly believe this is a win-win for both sides.
To see the Astros overall Payroll Situation, click the button.
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